PPC (pay-per-click advertising) and SEO (search engine optimisation) are often viewed as two distinctly separate digital marketing channels. Some might even see one as an alternative to the other and prefer to invest only in SEO or PPC. However, to make the most of these two digital marketing practices, you should ensure your PPC and SEO work together. This way, your SEO efforts can strengthen your PPC campaigns, and vice versa.
In this guide, we’ll go over six ways you can do just that. By following some of these best practices, you can strengthen your digital marketing strategy as a whole. Let’s get started.
1. Drive traffic fast with PPC
SEO can drive incredible value for your business, but seeing results does take time. It usually takes several months for your efforts to bear fruit in the form of your website showing up at the top of the search engine results page (SERP).
In contrast, when you publish a PPC campaign, your ads will start showing up at the top of search engine results for your specified keywords almost immediately. Especially for newer businesses as well as new product launches, it’s good to get the ball rolling immediately with SEO, and while you wait for that to take root, boost your website traffic with PPC.
2. Play the long game with your SEO strategy
SEO is a truly powerful digital marketing tool. When you pause a PPC campaign, the leads you get through that channel dry up immediately. Meanwhile, the SEO work you do today, such as writing quality content and optimising your website around keywords, can bear fruit for years to come.
This makes SEO a very cost-effective digital marketing channel. With PPC, you’ll pay for every click, whereas with SEO, you won’t necessarily have to pay for anything at all - hiring an SEO expert or purchasing SEO tools is optional.
You’ll likely be working with a limited budget for PPC, which is why it makes sense to spend that budget to drive traffic to pages that don’t see as much organic traffic. Pages that already do well from an SEO point of view don’t necessarily need the extra boost. And in case you ever have to pause PPC campaigns or reallocate some of the budget for them, SEO will continue to ensure your visibility in the SERP.
3. Plug holes in your SEO performance with PPC ads
In a nutshell, putting effort into digital marketing is an investment. Spreading that investment across PPC and SEO is all about spreading the risk.
For example, an ecommerce website might be doing very well on the SEO front, bringing loads of traffic into a couple of their product pages, but not all. A number of things can happen to complicate things.
It might be that a competitor comes out with a great new product that takes up much of the market share. Or maybe the interest in the products whose pages get a lot of traffic is seasonal, or the trend passes. Or, it could be that SERP structure changes and suddenly your page doesn’t appear on the first page of results - after all, search engines are continuously updating their algorithm for the best possible user experience.
PPC can help to protect against these risks. You can use it to drive traffic to pages that don’t get as much organic traffic through SEO or give some extra visibility to pages that suddenly struggle to get organic traffic.
4. Test the viability of new keywords with PPC ads
As we already mentioned, seeing the fruits of your labour with SEO takes some time. This means that testing your hypotheses and running experiments with SEO is difficult. This is where PPC can come to your rescue.
Running a PPC campaign around a keyword new to you can help you test its viability for your business. You can then decide based on campaign data whether it’s worth investing your time into focusing some of your SEO efforts around that keyword. You can also run A/B tests with PPC campaigns, testing, for example, PPC ad copy you can repurpose as a meta description.
5. Follow SEO leads around with remarketing campaigns
One of the most powerful ways you can ensure your SEO and PPC are working together is with remarketing campaigns. Remarketing is when you serve an ad specifically to people who’ve already visited your website. All of us have likely experienced this first hand: you see a product online and suddenly ads for it follow you all around the internet.
It takes, on average, about eight touchpoints with your brand before a prospective customer is ready to purchase from you. A remarketing campaign gives your prospects more touch points with your brand, making them more likely to convert. And since the audience for a remarketing campaign is already familiar with your business, they’re likelier to convert and as a result, your cost per conversion will be lower.
6. Gather and implement valuable data
Running both SEO and PPC campaigns gives you access to plenty of useful data you can use to strengthen them as well as other channels within our digital marketing strategy.
We already touched on how you can use your PPC campaign data to decide which keywords to focus on in your SEO strategy. With PPC, you can also target specific demographics. Based on how your ads do within these demographic groups, you can create SEO content that speaks to them.
You can also use your SEO data in your PPC campaigns. You can identify high-performing pages and learn about your website visitors’ behaviour this way, creating stronger PPC campaigns as a result.
The data you gather both from your SEO and PPC campaigns can also help you optimise your other digital marketing channels; it can help you find your target audience and serve them better through your sales processes and on social media.
The bottom line
Sales funnels are complex. It may be that a prospect first discovers you through a Google ad, only to later come across your brand again when someone shares a blog post you wrote on social media. Another prospect may have found your website through organic search results, and later converts after being served a remarketing ad.
This complexity is why it’s so important to not have all your eggs in one basket when it comes to digital marketing - and investing in both PPC and SEO is a good way to address that complexity. However, that same complexity can also pose a challenge to SMEs with limited in-house resources. That’s where Clear Click comes in.
As PPC and SEO experts who specialise in working with small to medium sized businesses, we can help you build a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that makes the most of both SEO and PPC for the best possible results. If you’d like to find out more, don’t hesitate to book a free discovery call with us to learn about how we can help.